LULAC Council 307 announces Latino award recipients

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For immediate release

Oct. 8, 2014

DES MOINES – The League of United Latin American Citizens, Council 307 will recognize individuals who have made key differences to the Latino community, as well as award a scholarship to a promising young Latina at the Iowa Latino Leadership Banquet on Nov. 1.

“This is a celebration of our successes as a community and an opportunity to truly honor those who work on a daily basis to make Iowa a better place for Latinos to live, work, attend school and raise a family,” said Joe Enriquez Henry, state director of LULAC of Iowa.

The following individuals will be honored at the awards presentation:

  • LULAC Builder Award – Sara Monroy Huddleston, president of a new LULAC Council in Storm Lake, Ia. Huddleston, a member of the Storm Lake City Council, has actively worked to increase awareness of the Latino community and has extended the olive branch to individuals and organizations that traditionally have not supported Latinos in order to develop working relationships.

  • Latino Business Person of the Year Award – JoAnn Mackey, former director of Latino Resources Inc. and founder of Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival. Mackey started the statewide event 14 years ago as a way to celebrate the contributions from the more than 22 Latino countries that are represented in Iowa. She retired after this year’s festival. The festival draws thousands each year and serves as the largest cultural event in Iowa.

  • Latino Hero Award – U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, who will retire after serving Iowans for more than 40 years. Harkin has been an advocate for all Iowans and his work has extended to the Latino community, those with special needs and others. He has supported measures that have improved the lives of Latinos and helped them gain higher paying jobs.

  • Iowa Latino Leadership Award – Vanessa C. Marcano-Kelly, a graduate of the inaugural Latina Leadership Initiative of Greater Des Moines, who now works for the Iowa Department of Human Services. Marcano-Kelly has been a community organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, where she advocated on behalf of the Latino community for issues that include wage theft, immigration reform, voter’s rights, driver’s licenses and raising the minimum wage.

  • Emerging Latino Leadership Scholarship Award – Maria Mayorga, 25, is in her final year at Drake University Law School. She has interned for several Des Moines-area attorneys. Mayorga worked at the Drake Law School Legal Clinic and was the legal assistant for the Immigrant Survivors Advancement Legal Program (ISA), where she helped immigrant women who were victims of domestic abuse receive legal assistance and counseling referrals. Mayorga, a graduate of Dowling Catholic High School, is a single parent of a son, and also provides translation services to her alma mater high school.

The banquet will be held at the Holiday Inn-Airport, 6111 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, Iowa. There will be a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner. The awards program will begin at 7 p.m.  This is a formal event. Black tie is optional.

Table sponsorships are available for $500; advertising sponsorships for $1,000; and event sponsorships for $2,000. Each sponsor will receive 10 dinner tickets and their name printed in the event program. Event sponsors also will be verbally acknowledged during the awards ceremony and will receive a booth during the reception.

Individual dinner tickets are $50. Seniors and youth, 18 and younger, pay $20. Purchase tickets online through our website:, or mail checks made payable to LULAC #307 Leadership Banquet, 2463 E. Highview Drive, Des Moines, IA 50320.

Founded in 1929, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights, volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic-Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C., and there are 1,000 councils across the United States and Puerto Rico. LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy efforts address the most important issues for Latinos, and meet the critical needs of today and the future.  

For more information, contact Joe Enriquez Henry at 515.208.7312; or Melissa Walker at 515.681.7731 or, or visit


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